Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    


Public Health 3.0: Building Partnerships to Improve Population Health


 
Dr. Karen DeSalvo

Public Health 3.0: It's time for an upgrade.

Last month, the Nashville Metro Public Health Department and NashvilleHealth co-hosted a daylong event dedicated to the social determinants of health that included U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Acting Assistant Secretary for Health Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc.

DeSalvo has been touring select communities to advance the cause of Public Health 3.0, billed as a major upgrade in public health practice to emphasize cross-sectional environmental, policy and system-level actions that directly affect the social determinants of health and advance health equity. The Public Health 3.0 initiative builds on the work of Healthy People 2020.

The event kicked off with a welcome from Bill Paul, MD, MPH, director of Metro Public Health. While Nashville is the 13th healthiest city in Tennessee, he pointed out the state ranks 43rd in the nation. And despite this country's vast resources, Paul noted the United States doesn't even crack the top 20 when it comes to healthiest nations in the world.

"We should do better. We can do better, and I think that's part of the reason we're here," Paul stated. He added the task of improving the health and wellbeing of all Davidson County residents is a large one that can't be accomplished alone. "It's bigger than any one organization," he said. "Improving, sustaining our health will take collaboration; it will take a combined effort."

He continued, "One of the most powerful things we can do to improve health is to weave health into the fabric of the city." Paul said you shouldn't have to 'be special' to be healthy. Instead, it should be ordinary to live a long, healthy life. "That's part of what we want to do is change the normal so the healthy choice is the easy choice."

On the plus side, Paul noted there are a growing number of success stories that show what's possible with a focused effort. An initiative to change policies and practices in birth hospitals in Nashville increased breastfeeding initiation from 61 percent to 84 percent in the span of three years. Schools have reduced sugar in chocolate milk. "The kids didn't notice the difference, and now 52,000 pounds less sugar is going into our children each year," Paul said.

However, on the flip side, Paul said there are neighborhoods in Nashville where the chance of dying early is four times greater than in other neighborhoods just a few miles away. "So whatever we do, when we advance health, we've got to advance fairness in health and how health is distributed."

Leslie Meehan, MPA, assistant director of Primary Prevention for the Tennessee Department of Health, said, "Our nation, as you know, is suffering from a preventable epidemic of chronic disease enabled by the places, spaces and choices that challenge our health on a daily basis. This is truly the health crisis of our time."

She added, "We know we cannot treat our way out, but we can prevent our way out." To that end, the TDH launched the Primary Prevention Initiative in 2013, which has led to almost 2,000 projects across the state from creating park benches with anti-smoking messages to building community greenways and gardens. "Most importantly, the Primary Prevention Initiative provides us the opportunity to change the notion that health is only about healthcare."

Senator William Frist, MD, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and founder of NashvilleHealth, said that amid all the excitement of Nashville being an 'It' city, it was important to make sure citizens weren't left behind. Remaining competitive, he noted, requires a healthy workforce. Frist said NashvilleHealth has opted to hone in on three key focus areas - tobacco use, hypertension, and child health - to begin to flip the script on poor health.

DeSalvo told attendees taking responsibility for the health of a community "is something all of us, as a society, need to stand up and make a decision that better health is a critical underpinning of our vitality and quality of life for everybody."

She said the time is right for this conversation in part because of some of the changes happening in the country. DeSalvo pointed to recent data that shows life expectancy staring to decline in some parts of the United States, as well as widening gaps by income with a difference of 15 years greater longevity for men in the top income levels compared to those at the bottom.

"What is behind those numbers and statistics?" she questioned. Taking a closer look at the data and the underlying traits of communities that are not seeing those declines, DeSalvo continued, "You begin to see there are some inherent characteristics about communities working together to create the conditions in which everyone can be healthy."

That work, she said, goes well beyond the public health department or healthcare system to a much broader shared vision, goals and actions by the larger community. DeSalvo said the social determinants of health - economic opportunity, housing, environment, education, food, safe neighborhoods, transportation - in combination with health behaviors really make up close to 70 percent of overall health, as compared to medicine, which makes up about 10 percent of someone's overall health. For that reason, she said, it is critical in this new iteration of Public Health 3.0 to build upon past success but to upgrade to a modern version that works across sectors and puts health in all policies.

RELATED LINKS:

Public Health 3.0:

Tennessee's Primary Prevention Initiative

NashvilleHealth

Nashville Metro Public Health Department

Dr. Bill Frist
Public Health.Panel
 
Share:

Related Articles:


Recent Articles

The 2019 Legislative Agenda

A new governor and many new legislators make 2019 a learning year as the state's top healthcare organizations seek to address a number of old issues and tweak some new solutions unveiled last year.

Read More

Updated Cholesterol Guidelines Take a Personalized Approach

The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology released updated cholesterol clinical guidelines in November 2018, taking a more nuanced approach to care over a patient's lifetime.

Read More

Sharing Data, Saving Lives

In an increasingly connected medical ecosystem where patient safety, health status improvement, and provider reimbursement are impacted at every point along the continuum, the need to efficiently, securely share data appears to have reached a tipping point.

Read More

New Rules in Heart Disease

A number of guideline changes and updates warrant more education around statin use and blood pressure monitoring, but local cardiologists say the higher standards are a game changer.

Read More

Dr. Ashish Shah: A Heart for Transplant Patients

Dr. Ashish Shah is the driving force behind the growth and innovation at one of the nation's busiest heart transplant programs.

Read More

Heart Monitor

Cardiovascular news of note.

Read More

ECMO Program Thriving at TriStar Centennial

A TriStar Centennial, a team approach is key to hospital's successful ECMO program.

Read More

Alexander Looks for Innovation, Asks Council Fellows for Input

Sen. Lamar Alexander asks stakeholders and future leaders to weigh in on ways to improve health outcomes, lower costs.

Read More

CMS Utilizes Dartboard Approach to Modernizing the Medicare Drug Benefit

Controlling pharmaceutical prices remains a hot topic, judging from the 6,415 comments received in response to the CMS proposed rule: "Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses."

Read More

A Conversation with LHC Director Molly Vice

Every company should have a succession plan. LHC plays a key role in planning for the next generation of leaders for an entire industry.

Read More

Email Print
 
 

 

 


Tags:
Bill Frist, Bill Paul, HHS, Karen DeSalvo, Leslie Meehan, Life Expectancy, Nashville Metropolitan Public Health Department, NashvilleHealth, Primary Prevention, Public Health 3.0, Social Determinants of Health
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: